06 October 2021

Teenage gang attack victim Keon Lincoln died from gunshot fired by 14-year-old, court told

06 October 2021

A schoolboy was fatally shot outside his home by a 14-year-old gunman during a knife attack involving five masked youths, a murder trial has heard.

Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court were told that five teenagers, aged between 14 and 18 and from Birmingham and Walsall, are accused of murdering 15-year-old Keon Lincoln on January 21 this year.

The 14-year-old, from Birmingham; a 16-year-old from Walsall; Kieron Donaldson, 18, of Aston Lane, Perry Barr; Tahjgeem Breakenridge, 18, of Oldfield Road, Balsall Heath; and Michael Ugochukwu, 18, of Twyning Road, Edgbaston, all deny murder.

Keon Lincoln died around two hours after being attacked in Handsworth in January (West Midlands Police/PA) (PA Media)

Opening the case for the Crown at the start of what is expected to be a five-week-trial, prosecutor Michael Burrows QC said: “The incident was captured on CCTV. It shows five people involved in the attack.

“They all wore their hoods up so their faces could not be seen.

“The CCTV shows one of the individuals had a gun and shot at Keon Lincoln twice. One of the shots hit Keon Lincoln in the stomach and caused fatal injuries.”

Mr Burrows added: “The prosecution say the gunman was … and is 14 years old.

“He is charged with murder and with possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. As I understand, he disputes that he was present and was the gunman.”

The prosecutor said the CCTV footage showed the other attackers were armed with large knives, with which Keon was stabbed repeatedly.

Mr Burrows, who said Keon died in hospital around two hours after suffering eight sharp force injuries and an injury to a major artery, added: “The prosecution say the knifemen included (the 16-year-old), Michael Ugochukwu and Tahjgeem Breakenridge.

“As I understand, they each dispute that they were present.”

Donaldson, the court heard, is not alleged to have been present at the scene of the attack but to have “helped and supplied weapons”.

Forensic officers examine the scene in Linwood Road, Handsworth, after Keon Lincoln was stabbed and shot (Matthew Cooper/PA) (PA Archive)

The “short and brutal” attack in Linwood Road, Handsworth lasted about 30 seconds, Mr Burrows told the court, continuing even after Keon tried to get up and run away.

Mr Burrows told the jury: “He (Keon) was shot at whilst he was on the ground. Still, the group continued to attack him, stabbing and hacking at him with large knives.

“Eventually, the group ran away and got back into a white Ford S-Max and that car was driven away from the scene.”

The court heard that the vehicle, which had been stolen and was on false plates, later crashed in Wheeler Street, Birmingham, where forensic evidence including a hunting knife was recovered.

Prosecutors allege that all of the defendants except Donaldson got out of the S-Max along with a fifth male, while a sixth man remained in the car and turned it round in the street.

Donaldson, the Crown allege, had bought 10 hunting knives, two survival knives and two machetes between October 2020 and January this year and then supplied them to others.

(left to right) Pastor Neville Popo, Keon Lincoln’s mother Sharmaine and his twin sister Kiarah appealed for witnesses after the fatal attack on the 15-year-old (PA) (PA Archive)

Mr Burrows said the prosecution could not say what the precise motive for the attack was, before telling the court: “The car they were going to use was a stolen car on false plates. When they got out of the car, they wore face masks and gloves.

“They also made sure that their phones did not betray their movements.

“Plainly, it’s obvious this attack was planned. The attackers were out together armed with weapons.

“In the case of (the 14-year-old), he was armed with a gun loaded with ammunition.

“In short, the prosecution say, when you consider all the evidence from the CCTV and phone records, it is clear that these defendants are those shown in the CCTV, and that they were all involved in the murder of Keon Lincoln.”

As well as the murder charge, the 14-year-old defendant denies possessing a handgun with intent to endanger life in the street where Keon was fatally wounded.

Breakenridge, Ugochukwu and the 16-year-old also deny unlawful possession of a knife. Neither of the juveniles can be named because of a court order.

The trial continues.

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